Many people may be surprised to learn that people with disabilities represent the third largest market segment in the United States. At 54 million strong, this population surpasses Hispanics, African Americans, and Asian Americans, as well as Generation X and teens. Add in their families, friends, and associates, and it represents an estimated $1 trillion dollars in purchasing power.

Hiring qualified individuals with disabilities, including veterans, can help businesses understand and meet the needs of this important and expanding customer base. And while research shows that consumers both with and without disabilities favor businesses that employ people with disabilities, not all employers know how to effectively hire and retain such individuals.

To help, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy recently released a guide, Business Strategies that Work: A Framework for Disability Inclusion.  This publication contains proactive strategies for businesses of all sizes across seven key operational areas, and is an essential resource for employers who want to make sure their workplaces—and customer bases—are diverse and inclusive.

By employing people with disabilities, businesses can gain a better understanding of how to meet the needs of this important and expanding market segment.

Business Strategies that Work:  A Framework for Disability Inclusion is available at www.dol.gov/odep/pdf/BusinessStrategiesThatWork.pdf.